For the last few weeks, I have been feeling every one of my 50 years.
Motherhood, the job I know I am good at and the one I have always loved, has really been kicking my tail lately. It seems as if all three of my darlings are experiencing growing pains at the exact same time.
The fact that I am the primary parent, while my husband leaves the house for the office each day, means I am on the only one on the front lines dealing with every case of teen and tween angst that comes along. There is also the complexity of caring for my daughter, who has significant special needs.
I’m cooked. Burnt out. Exhausted and emotionally drained. I would get out the white flag of surrender, but I’m too tired to get it from the linen closet. I certainly don’t have the energy to wave it.
It’s times like these that I am oddly grateful that motherhood did not come easy to me. As I feel myself drawn into yet another argument about curfew times or whose fault it is that the living room is a disaster, I do my best to remember that there was a time when I would have given everything I owned to be in this position.
I had four miscarriages before our first child was born. Four.
The cushy life I had of only worrying about me, my job, my husband, and our cat felt so profoundly empty. I would do my best to enjoy all I had, but every time I saw a baby or a child with their mom, my heart would ache.
I would hear my friends complain about their kids, and it would take every ounce of me to stop myself from screaming, “You don’t know how lucky you are.”
There is something so empowering in remembering that I actively chose this life.
I might not have known or chosen that my daughter have more in common with a child of three or four then the girl of 14 that she is. But when I catch her in the bathroom, crumbling everyone’s deodorant and leaving a mess of biblical proportions, it does make it a little easier to laugh when she looks up at me and asks, “Mom do you still love me?”
I would rather not have to watch my 17-year-old son struggle with the same dyslexia that plagued me in school. But watching him makes strides some professionals thought he would never make does make the arguments over his choice of clothing or language a bit more manageable.
My soon-to-be 11-year-old youngest child is proving his talent of getting on my very last nerve as he grapples with the challenges of leaving grade school for the bigger world of middle school and all that will entail. But it’s hard not to be charmed when he says, “I look like a princess” in my new pink nightgown.
Yes, I have been feeling the pressures of raising three kids, trying to achieve some semblance of order in our house, and still make time to write. I have a very good case of the “stressed-out-mommy-blues.”
Thankfully, this experience, and an hour of having the house to myself, has taught me that it will pass.
There will be a day, sooner than I care to admit, when I will look back at these insane times as the good old days.
I know that. Today I just have to remind myself.